The Religion and Culture of Having Children among Thai-Muslim people in Thailand

By: Anlaya Smuseneto  

The study was interested in the religious and culture of having children in southernmost border provinces, Thailand. The data was conducted by organizing a seminar in which the subjects were divided into 4 groups of 9 people. Each group consisted of elderly men and women, and young men and women. All were Muslims who were living in the southern border provinces—Pattani, Yala, Narathiwat and Satun. Although the total fertility rate in Thailand has fallen below the replacement level, it turned out that Muslims’ fertility rate was slightly higher. This was because of the great influence of the Islamic principles on Muslims’ beliefs and attitudes towards their living including having children. The findings revealed that according to the principles of Islam, men and women were encouraged to marry and have children to carry on the family. This belief had a significant effort on people practicing Islam, however, there were more people delaying having kids or staying single for the rest of their lives. The attitude that they should start families later in life and the fact that they did not select the gender of the baby could result in the decline of fertility. Additionally, it was found out that Muslims wanted to have big families while they were concerned about the cost of raising their children to have better lives and wanted the children’s education expenses. As parents, they wanted their children to have better lives and wanted the children to take care of them in old age.

Religion, Culture, Children, The Southern Border Provinces
Religious Community and Socialization
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Anlaya Smuseneto

Lecturer, Social Sciences, Prince of Songkla University, Thailand

ANLAYA SMUSENETO, Lectuer of Social Sciences Department, PSU.